Gnome on the range
When you wander down the street and see astronauts, beach bums, buskers, balloonists, cricketers, musicians, hunters, pilots, caravanners, gardeners and many, many more all within a few hundred metres … you quickly realise you have arrived in a most unusual and quite special little town!
Yes, believe it or not, this is the scene which awaits visitors to Gnomesville, a small, quite shy little community, hidden away in Ferguson Valley inland from Bunbury in Western Australia’s southwest … and each of the residents here is a gnome with his or her individual background and story to tell. This might all sound like a bit of a fairy tale from the bottom of the garden, but this place really does exist … and it is recognised as the fastest growing town in Australia, but no people live there!
It all started a number of years back when a new roundabout was being built near the old timber town of Wellington Mill. It seems there was a good deal of local controversy over the cost effectiveness of constructing a roundabout where three minor roads join in a quiet area way out in the countryside. Quite mysteriously one night an unknown resident placed a gnome at the intersection as a tongue-in-cheek protest, to keep a gnome’s eye view on the workers and to keep a check on the building progress. It seems that this Overseeing Gnome then enlisted the help of others, and under the cover of darkness quite a few more gnomes came out of the woods to check on the roundabout. By the time construction works had been completed, the overseeing gnomes, now relieved of their job, had formed themselves into two football teams and for some time went about playing a game in the centre of the new roundabout.